LEEDS, England, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The New Speeding Regulations - A Legal Perspective
24th April 2017 sees a new and much harsher penalty system come in to force for those caught speeding after this date. In 2014, exceeding the speed limit was a contributing factor to 16.5% of fatal accidents and in response sentencing guidelines have been reviewed and with the review comes an attractive deterrent; you could now be fined up to 150% of your weekly income.
At present an offender will fall into one of three 'bands'; Band A, Band B or Band C. The latter is the harshest of the three penalties. Currently, Band C offenders start from a sum equal to 100% of their weekly income - from April 2017 we will see this increase to 150% which can be a significant increase based solely upon your salary. To put that into perspective, based on earnings of £25,000 a year, a speeding fine equivalent to 150% of your weekly income means handing over a minimum of £720, with fines likely to be capped at around £2,500 regardless of earnings - no small amount.
From 1st March 2017, the penalty for mobile phone usage whilst driving doubled from a £100 fine and three points to a £200 fine and six points. It is thought that the harsher reprimands introduced for mobile phone usage and speeding is indicative of how the authorities intend to crack down on repeat and prolific offenders who have not been deterred this far.
Giles Ward, Senior Partner of Milners Solicitors, Leeds, commented:
"Speeding penalties and fines are not calculated quite as simply as other motoring offences. The current maximum fine for breaking the speed limit is £1,000, or £2,500 if caught on a motorway. The Sentencing Council has confirmed that the £2,500 cap will remain the same, however, the highest level of fines will be much more prevalent and more offenders than ever before will be damned to the highest level fines.
An offender's speeding fine can be increased or decreased depending on the circumstances surrounding the offence. A 'mitigating factor' such as an emergency that caused the offender to drive in excess of the speed limit may see a reduction in the fine. An increase in speeding fine would come should an 'aggravating factor' be present in the circumstances surrounding the offence. The presence of an aggravating factor could see the offenders' fine increase from 150% to 175% of the offenders' weekly income. Aggravating factors include speeding with a trailer, carrying a heavy load or being a persistent offender.
It goes without saying that everyone should be aware of the forthcoming changes and how the new sentencing guidelines could affect you, however, those needing to pay even closer attention to the change in legislation is the prudent employer who employs drivers and /or runs a fleet of vehicles."
With the penalties increasing and modern technology forever becoming more advanced, the prudent employer / business owner / Director / Chief Executive / company owner (no matter how big or small the company is) should see the increase in penalty as the propeller into tightening up their own systems and removing any room for human error. Products like speed restrictors and tracking systems are among the modern day ways to tighten up on fleet speeds and while insurance companies look to tracking and telematics to asses and control young drivers maybe now is the right time for fleets to take the same lead.
Chris McClellan the owner of RAM Tracking, a leading provider of vehicle tracking for fleets added:
"As a fleet owner, you may or may not be directly responsible for paying individual's speeding fines, but if you are, it's worth noting one RAM customer reported a 51% decrease in speeding tickets after applying vehicle tracking. There are plenty of reasons to start monitoring your fleet's speed using a vehicle tracking software, for instance If your business employs drivers, or has employees who regularly drive as part of their job then you have serious corporate responsibilities. Have your drivers been assessed or received any training? Have you shown a duty of care towards them and ensured there hasn't been negligence on the company's part? If not, then you could be looking at a corporate manslaughter charge. Vehicle tracking allows you to monitor an individual's speed, their efficiency and much more. Having it in place almost certainly shows you're taking responsible driving seriously - and you'll be able to identify the most common offenders and either pull them up or even set a speed limiter. Without this tracking, you have no idea whether your drivers are conducting themselves safely or driving like a modern-day Ayrton Senna on the roads."
Giles Ward continued,
"If your company received a Notice of Intended Prosecution and you had no way of identifying who was driving which car, at what time, on which day, what would you do? Whose wages would be subject to the new sentencing guidelines? Could you say you had done all you possibly could to ensure your staff were held accountable for their actions during every minute of every hour of every day? If you employ drivers, make sure they are accountable for their own actions, ultimately someone has to be, and it could by default be you."
RAM Tracking has created a portal of articles, statistics, quotes and infographics about the new speeding regulations and implications of speeding for individuals and businesses. Visit: https://www.ramtracking.com/blog/category/april-2017-speeding-regulations/
Contact details - Scott Chesworth, Operations Director, +44-(0)330-100-3622
SOURCE RAM Tracking